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Old 11-04-2009, 11:19   #16
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What 360 degree view? The jib is in the way.

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Originally Posted by Scottie2 View Post
If you are deciding between a monohull or multihull, that debate has raged here ad nauseam. If you are deciding between a multihull with a flybridge and one where the helm is in the cockpit, I think that is a great discussion.

I wonder if some who might chime in against the flybridge on a sailing cruiser might be of the monohull proponents. Just wanted to separate the issue

Also, as schoonerdog points out there are multihulls without a 360 view, and those with a raised helmstation that do have a 360 view. Huge difference, and again, a seperate debate.

I've chartered catamarans with a flying bridge (Lagoon 440, for example) and those with the helm in the cockpit (Island Spirit 400, for example).

A center, raised flybridge offers a unique perspective when sailing. Maybe comparable to the difference you would experience if you drove a small car all your life, then hopped into a truck or large SUV. Have any of the naysayers actually sat in a centered flybridge? The feeling is striking, and noticeable immediately. Might not be for everyone, but I personally love the feeling of being 'up' and above it all.

KIWI: despite what people say here, you should try it out yourself and see if you like it or not.

As David M points out, isolation from others is a factor. In a daysail with a small group, the group may tend towards the salon or cockpit, you would need to go down the steps in order to interact with them. On the other hand, take a look at the attached picture of the Lagoon flybridge. There's seating for six up there! One or more of the guests can come join you up there for a great view. The 'isolation' can even be be a favorable factor. In a large group charter situation, for example, I find that the flybridge is an advantage as it gives you a whole new 'area' to be in.

With regards to David M's point about exposure to extreme weather conditions goes, enlarge the attached picture of the Lagoon 440 with the flybridge vs the Lagoon 420 with the raised helm in the cockpit for example. In the 420, are you getting any more protection from the seas or winds? I don't think so. If you were completely down in the cockpit (unraised helm) would you get more protection? Maybe your knees down would... If you wanted protection when making passage you would fashion a dodger, which is possible in either instance. (Although probably easier to fashion one around the cockpit bimini)

There is one member on CF who sails a flybridge and who claims that the exposure is actually less in rough conditions, I will PM him and try to get him to chime in on this.

Also when comparing these two pictures, for example: With regards to these comments:

How much really is the boom raised in order to accomodate the flybridge? Visually, not much. How much affect does this have on windage, lateral stability and increased the risk of capsize? I can't say, I'm not a ship builder. Certainly many of these catamarans have made successful crossings for delivery, and many are also employed in circumnavigations. I would be interested in anyone's experiences.

With regards to safety, this is a terrible point. Would you rely on someone 'noticing' you falling overboard? I don't think this is the way to mitigate an MOB. There should be a way to communicate to the cockpit or salon however if you need something. Not too much different though, when you are single handing and your crew is below, in other setups.

I don't think anyone can argue this. I guess you would have to weigh being more uncomfortable at a higher center of motion in a storm vs. being more comfortable (IMO) with a spacious flybridge when it is calm.

To those who say flybridges are ugly, well, as David M says, depends on your tastes. I've included a few pictures here. To me, personally, ugly is the last thing that comes to mind.

Anyway, all that to say, I absolutely love a flybridge on cruising catamarans. So much so, in fact, it is one of the primary factors in my charter and purchase decisions.
The higher the helm, the greater the probability that the jib and chute will block your view.

Keep the bridge deck as low as practical and get the helm station JUST above that.
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Old 11-04-2009, 16:53   #17
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A lot of the new cat's are coming out with fly bridges
Really only a 60ft plus thing isnt it?

Raised helm is hardly a flybridge
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Old 11-04-2009, 18:06   #18
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I confess. I am so totally ruined and spoiled aboard my MaineCat. Full 360 Visibility, inside protected helm OR open the curtains and enjoy the fresh air. Single level from helm to sail controls (3 steps actually, all on same level) The only obstruction is the mast itself which is a pretty minimal arc. Handy to the dinette for a full sit down lunch, just those same 3 steps from the helm. Easy to singlehand as docking is a cinch with that full visibility and easy access to the deckline/steps.

Raised helms and flybridges tend to limit ease of movement that is req'd for singlehanding what with stepping up/down two or three steps or more which results in increased risk of slips and falls.

Even my bunk is a quick 5 feet from the helm so I'm readily able to be called and/or respond when needed whether underway or at anchor.

Was out in the cool wind and overcast a couple days ago, sailing in my shirtsleeves, monkeying around with a new camera, while the Admiral worked nearby on her computer, connected to the internet keeping the 'kitty' full.

Nope, I'm fully spoiled.
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Old 11-04-2009, 18:12   #19
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I'm fully spoiled.

Yes you are! The San Juans are truly one of America's best kept secret jewels. Precious few comprehend just how truly gorgeous the islands are. And it's a sailing paradise. Count me as jealous!!!
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Old 11-04-2009, 18:18   #20
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Really only a 60ft plus thing isnt it?

Raised helm is hardly a flybridge
Pretty much, although there are a few 50 footers like the Roger Hill 51.


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Old 11-04-2009, 18:21   #21
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Old 11-04-2009, 20:04   #22
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I was chatting with a delivery captain a few months ago about flybridge cats. She had an interesting comment, saying that the phrase they use to describe the 440's and 500's was "riding the camel". Although they have a number of attractive features, the helm station (in my mind) is not one of them. Like Schoonerdog, I really like the helm in our St. Francis. We get a 360 view, ready access to everything we need to sail the boat (without having to go up a flight of stairs!), and good protection from the elements.

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Old 13-04-2009, 22:01   #23
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Pretty much, although there are a few 50 footers like the Roger Hill 51.

Looks pretty good without a rig with the cabin moved forward and the cockpit roof extended.

Spend the $60k worth of rig on fuel. Where have I heard that before (-;

Thanks for the link, more layout options for my build



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Old 13-04-2009, 22:14   #24
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Horses for courses......think hard about what you will truly, actually use your cat for, then find one that matches your purpose... it took me a year and half of looking, before i found what i needed for my use, with all the gear fit out, that was important and familiar to me. She was the best of both worlds, Ausi designed and kiwi built and all epoxy......... I chased a Roger hill design around the Malolo lialia island race one year, she was a beauty, but we caught her before the finish line... i was never a racer, always a cruiser....
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Old 14-04-2009, 06:58   #25
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Scottie, one doesn't need to be a naval architect to know that a fly bridge will raise the center of gravity, increase windage and, all else being equal, the center of effort of the rig. My boat has 360 degree visiblity and a boom that is only one foot above the bimini; in order to have a flybridge, the boom would have to be raised at least 6 - 7 feet.

Yes, by all means try one, but also keep in the back of your mind that there will be an adverse effect on lateral stability.

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